It has been more than eight months since the Lady Shuttlers claimed their championship after facing the UP Lady Maroons at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall. The team was declared champions after eight long years when Season MVP Nicole Albo outmatched Ann Maranon in the final match. The LaSallian caught up with Albo and looked back at her team’s season, from their struggles throughout the season up to their winning moment.
Even before the season started, the Lady Shuttlers already expressed how much they needed to push themselves when it came to playing, considering that they were short on players. With this in mind, some players, namely Isay Leonardo and Nicole Albo had to adapt and adjust to new playing styles in order to get the team to the top.
Despite the challenges that came itsway, the team never stopped supporting and motivating each other. Albo mentions that the biggest factor her team had was the willingess to win. “Lahat kami nagtutulungan, minomotivate ang bawat isa. Nandiyan sila lahat para mag-cheer at iniisip lang namin na kahit anong mangyari, manalo or matalo, at least lumaban kami.”
(We all helped and motivated each other. They were all there to cheer and we just thought that whatever happens, win or lose, at least we fought hard.)
Albo also recalls how aside from her teammates, there were other people who helped lead them to victory. She notes how the players who have already graduated took time to spar with them, friends who screamed at her and her teammates’ to lift their spirits, and most importantly, their coaches who have always believed and reminded the team that the girls could do it.
The next chapter
With Season 81 just around the corner, Albo says that there will surely be changes in the team. “Siyempre may mga magbabago. Kailangan ulit namin kumuha ng mga potential players para makabuo ng isang solid team.”
(Of course, there will be changes. We need to find new players so that we can form a solid team.)
As for the challenges they are about to face, she mentions that the Lady Shuttlers are aware of how the other badminton teams want to steal the title from them. She also notes that since there were players that have already graduated or exhausted their playing years, the team will now have to adjust and look for new tactics to keep their team strong.
“Maraming rookies na papasok and sa ngayon, nagfoform parin kami ng new players para makatulong samin sa Season 81,” she concluded.